I know we still have another day to go until it’s even Fall, but I cannot wait! Fall is my favorite time of year (maybe because my birthday falls in… Fall), and I really love Halloween. But Halloween today is waaaay different from Halloweens gone by and I dug up some pictures to illustrate the differences.

Back when I was trick-or-treating in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I don’t remember getting to pick what costume I’d get to wear. In fact, if I don’t have a picture of one of my costumes, I don’t even remember it. I mostly remember huge piles of candy and being told to let my parents check the candy before I ate any. We were not allowed to eat any candy while we were out trick-or-treating (which we did by ourselves by-the-way). Also, Mom said to tear the candy bars into pieces before biting into them. I don’t remember if I was tearing my candy bars or not, but I remember tearing through our neighborhood with my friends and setting the goal of hitting every single house before our time was up.

clown costume cowboy costume halloweenOur costumes were almost always home made. The exceptions were costumes mom acquired through extreme bargains, or those handed down from somewhere. I think this picture is the only example of real costumes I have. My little brother is on the right in chaps that I really think used to be my dads from when he was little. The rest of the costume is either borrowed or we already had. My dad used a burned cork to make his mask. Just like the old days (I guess). My brother’s best friend (and also our next-door neighbor) is in our clown costume that I’m pretty sure every one of us wore at some point. That hat is from one of my dance recitals. Shhhh… don’t tell him! Sorry Micah.

witch costume HalloweenThis is one very unhappy six-year-old witch. Don’t get me wrong, I was super excited to be a witch that year. But it was cold out and my Mom made me wear pants underneath. Plus, the dress was blue instead of black and “mom, witches wear black“. Mom said it was dark out and no one would be able to tell it was blue. I specifically remember my mother pulling that dress right off the hanger out of her closet. I’m not sure if she bought that witch hat, or if we borrowed it. I hope we bought the plastic vampire teeth. No, I don’t know why a witch has vampire teeth. Maybe I decided that’d be cool. Also, those aren’t my real eyebrows. Just so you know. And don’t worry, my blue funk only lasted for the first three houses.

1970s kids Halloween costumesIf you’re thinkin’ homemade costumes were not the norm, here’s a shot of my older brother and me with some neighborhood friends. I’m the mummy. I remember being worried people wouldn’t know I was a girl. Mom put lipstick on me (she was always so accommodating of my pickiness). My brother is the furry, frightening monster behind me. What the what? Yikes. The fella on the far left must be a serial killer. They look like everyone else, right? Then we have a ball player and a hobo. Could we even get away with a hobo today? Hmmm…

Contrast that with today’s Halloween. I must remember being dissatisfied with my costume options because I let my kids pick their costumes at the beginning of summer (so I have time to make, borrow or buy them). When they were too small to care though, I made them myself. I was a bit of an overachiever at first, but it was fun.

robot Halloween costume

Robot with mini lights taped to the inside of the box spray-painted silver.

Little boys dressed up for Halloween Plex and lumberjack

Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba and my little lumber Jack.

Kids in Halloween costumes hulk sugar skull Minecraft Steve

You don’t even want to know how long it took to make Steve from Minecraft.

family Halloween costumes ninja Nowdays they’ve graduated to some store-bought (or Amazon Prime bought) options. Last year Ben was a “black blimp”. Boy did we get the looks on that one. Jack wanted to be a ninja – easy enough. We bought Emma a Cinderella costume (from the movie) with butterfly decked glass slippers and all. At the last minute she decided to wear her Little Mermaid dress. Whatever. There’ll be no argument from the unhappy witch about costume adjustments. Even Rob and I play dress up on Halloween for trick-or-treating. There sure are a whole lot of options for easy costuming today. Thanks internet!

The other big difference between then and now is that we don’t live in a neighborhood now. Now we park in someone else’s neighborhood and walk the kids around. I still have the same rules though – no eating candy while we’re still out trick-or-treating. It’s for different reasons though. I just don’t want chocolaty fingerprints all over everything.

So Halloween is in 41 days (I just asked Google). We already have Emma’s Sleeping Beauty dress, shoes and even gloves and purse. Jack has decided he wants to be the black blimp this year. Ben wanted to create his own character: Ben the Bunny. There was green fur and paper mache involved, so I actually declined. I hope there won’t be any mental scarring involved in that decision. He decided on a black bodysuit looking costume from Walmart. It’ll make him look like a shadow, so that’s kinda Halloweeny. Not many more years left of trick-or-treating in the Shertzer Chateau. Gotta make them count!

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